Introduction The city of Syracuse was founded in 733 BC and grew to be one of the most prominent cities of the ancient Mediterranean world. Seat of Greek Kings, Roman Governors, a Byzantine Emperor, Arab Emirs, Norman and Spanish Lords, its archaeological and architectural wealth is justly renowned. As a mark of its continuing and contemporary presence, the city of Syracuse is host to a rich program of shows, exhibitions and cultural events including the internationally acclaimed Greek Theater summer season and the city’s growing film and music festivals held in the beautiful setting of the historic center and island of Ortygia. This historical and cultural wealth is complemented by a warm Mediterranean climate, and a beautiful coastal location in South-Eastern Sicily, rich in UNESCO world heritage sites. The fertile countryside surrounding the city produces bountiful fresh produce for the open-air markets of Syracuse, and the local cuisine is one of the best in all of Italy. The Syracuse Academy takes full advantage of these resources and fully integrates them into all of its programs. “As a small town filled with warm and welcoming Sicilians, Taormina felt like home right away. What truly made my experience in Taormina so special, however, was the school. With small class sizes and daily cultural activities, I really got to know the remarkable teachers. I felt motivated to learn and comfortable to practice the language. The staff quickly came to feel like my Sicilian family." Coleen B.